Trumbull – Dear Chiche (Page 1) – Two Momentous Reports – May 12, 1946

For some reason, I am missing two letters, one from April 28th and one from May 5th, so Dave’s arrival home hasn’t been covered in these posts. I do not know about his exact travels, but I do know that he was discharged on May 6th, the exact day that Danielle was born in Calais, France. Over the years, they have joked that they were both “released” on the same day.  

Trumbull, Conn., May 12, 1946

Dear Chiche,

How proud a grandfather I am today! I received Dan’s cable from Paris saying that my first granddaughter had arrived. I am glad it was a girl. I know you would have preferred the oldest to be a boy but I can think, as you can, of many good reasons why it is an advantage for the first to be a girl.

We Americans have some queer customs. One is to have various “Days” for various occasions. Today is “Mother’s Day”. And  how appropriate it is in view of the news that has been received from France.

I hope everything went nicely for you, and that you had a comparatively easy time, if the word easy can ever be applied to such an event. Of course I am waiting eagerly to hear the details from Dan’s letter which he promised to write after sending his cable.

To make everything more enjoyable, on top of the news of baby’s arrival, and Dave’s return from Manila, I received your very welcome English letter. If you wanted to please me immensely, you have certainly succeeded, and I want to complement you on the letter. You need never be ashamed or hesitant about writing in English. Your meaning is perfectly clear and even if some of the sentences are more of French construction than English, it is far better than I could have done if I had tried to write you in French. I have an idea, however, you hesitated about sending it for quite a while after you had written it. You need not have done so, and now that the ice has been broken and the result is so good, you won’t need to hesitate a second time. It won’t be many months now, I hope, before you will not need to write because you will be right home here in your American home where we are all waiting for you to proudly show us the new Guion heir.

Everyone here likes the name you have chosen. I am so anxious to see and hold in my arms my little Danielle and it will be a proud day for all of us when you all arrive in Trumbull.

Marian and Lad will be well contented no matter which arrives — boy or girl will be equally welcome. She also is approaching that uncomfortable stage but her health remains good. She is dieting so as to keep her weight down to the proper level. Both she and Lad have fixed up their room very attractively in blue and Marian is busy preparing for the big event. Her folks in California held a “shower” for her a while ago and sent her some attractive baby things. Maybe they have “showers” in France, too. If not, ask Dan what they are when you see him. I do hope he was able to be on hand, and the fact he sent the cable from Paris makes me believe he might have been back from England in time for the arrival of his first child, as well as be on hand to share Mother’s joy over the firstborn.

All of us here send our love and congratulations and as I said before, we can hardly wait now for the time when you all will be with us in person. I suppose it will be about four months before Baby will be old enough to travel, but I am hoping that by September 11th, which is my birthday, I can have a real celebration. Now, little Mother, give little Danielle a loving Grandfather’s kiss and hurry home soon to

Your loving

DAD

Tomorrow and Wednesday, two more letters from Grandpa, also written on May 12th, and Thursday and Friday will be devoted to a long letter and enclosures from Ced, dated May 17th.

Judy Guion

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Army Life – Dan Writes About the American Red Cross Club in London – March 27, 1944

The following article appeared in The Bridgeport Post, Bridgeport, Conn., on Monday, March 27, 1944.

 

Red Cross on Call for All Servicemen in London, Corp. Guion Tells Family

The American Red Cross in London is “a composite Travelers’ aid, shopping guide, nursemaid, companion, entertainer,  tour conductor, encyclopedia, Dorothy Dix and hostess, all at the beck and call of any G. I. in uniform”, according to Corp. Daniel B.  Guion, of Trumbull, now stationed in London.

“Because it occupies such a prominent place in my mind today, I am dedicating this letter to the ARC (American Red Cross)”, Corp. Guion recently wrote to his father, Alfred D. Guion, of Trumbull.

The clubs in London have been a Godsend to every American serviceman who has come to London,  wanting to get the most out of his visit, the Trumbull soldier continues. “Maps, accommodations, education, information, entertainment, all are the daily diet of the ARC.”

Rooms and meals, he says, are available at minimum cost. “But nicest of all, a new ARC club has just opened quite near the place rather different from the downtown London clubs, more like a USO in that there are no overnight facilities to attract the Grand Central Terminal crowd, that prevails in the regular clubs, coming and going at all hours of the day and night, unkempt from travel, gas masks and musette bags drooping from weary shoulders as they lineup for lodgings.”

This club, designed for men stationed in the area rather than for transient servicemen, appeals strongly to Corp. Guion’s sense of the historic and dramatic.

On Site of Old Palace

“This local ARC is housed in a building built by Christopher Wren for Queen Anne, in the early 18th century,” he explains.  “It is built on the site of an old palace,  which, causes it to fairly reek of atmosphere and tradition, despite the modern comforts that have been added for its present function.”

 

Great figures of Britain’s past, who have stopped there, or played their parts in the immediate vicinity, include 21 Kings, four queens, Chaucer, Woolsey, Sir Walter Raleigh, Francis Bacon, Spencer (“he read the Faery Queen to Queen Bess”) and Dean Swift.

Open Fireplace

“There is an open fireplace in virtually every room. Library, music room, dining room, information desk, all contribute notably to our comfort indoors, while spacious lawns, secluded bowers, gardens and aged walls lend an aura of romantic antiquity to the grounds around it. Glimpses of barges and boats can be caught through the trees that line the further edge of the lawn past which a river flows.

“By fortunate coincidence I am able to take advantage of this club during the daylight hours all this week, because I have begun working on a shift job which changes hours periodically.”

Corp. Guion is not new to world travel. As a U.S. government engineer, he traveled through a good bit of South America, spending some time working in Venezuela, and before entering service, was given an assignment in Alaska. He had his early education in Trumbull schools, attending Central High School, and was graduated from the University of Connecticut. He has been overseas with the U.S. Army for several months.

Mr. Guion, Sr.,  is an enthusiastic volunteer worker for the Trumbull branch, Bridgeport chapter, American Red Cross, which he serves as director of public information.

“We all know the Red Cross is doing a grand job, here and abroad.” he says. “But it gives an added boost to your morale to hear directly from your own boy how extremely well the organization is serving our men overseas.”

 

Tomorrow,, a letter from Jean (Mrs. Richard) to Ced in Alaska, and on Friday, a letter from Elizabeth (Biss) to Ced, one of her older brothers.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dan (1) – Response to Dan’s Letter (Quoted Tomorrow) – April 7, 1946

Trumbull, Conn., April 7, 1946

Dear Dan:

Here is a short note from Dave which interests me greatly. It is dated at Manila, March 22nd, and says: “Dear Gang: This is it! Well, it’s a start anyway. Tomorrow I leave for the Repple Depple. I should be on my way home within the next two weeks — possibly within a few days. I’d planned on getting some things as presents to bring home but my time came to suddenly. In fact, I’m rushed right now, so I’ll close this. It may be my last ‘til I get home, so Be seein’ ya. Dave.”

Of course we are all speculating here whether by this time he has actually started or whether the reported typhoon has held him up; also whether he will make stops enroute where he can make reports of his progress by airmail. From all I can learn, he will probably be landed at San Francisco, where he can call on Aunt Dorothy, catch up with his mail and if he has time, pay a visit to Marian’s folks at Orinda. I haven’t heard whether lately there is as much delay as formerly in getting transportation to the east, but in any event he could probably make pretty good time by expressing his belongings East and hitchhiking as so many others have done. The combination of his uniform and friendly smile ought not to make the job too difficult. It is not unreasonable to hope that by this time next month he may be back again in old Trumbull.

I note from your letter that you have been doing a lot of hopping around and should be getting quite well acquainted with France, Belgium and vicinity. It is good to know Chiche is feeling O.K. and of course as the time draws near we are all increasingly interested in what fortune holds for the future of the Guion family. Marian also is carrying on in good shape (perhaps that is an unfortunate word to use in this connection), in fact she is dieting a bit at the doctor’s suggestion to keep from gaining too much weight. I’ll be looking forward eagerly to receiving my latest daughter’s first letter in English, and like very much her spirit in attempting it. As I wrote you in one of my more recent letters which you probably had not received when you wrote yours of March 26th, the dress cloth and cradle trimming material both were sent you some weeks ago and should have been received before this. As for the blouses, the girls tell me there is not a thing to be had, and by the time there is and it is purchased, shipped and received, the lapse of time is apt to be such that again you might write that blouses are now obtainable in France, so under the circumstances, I’ll disregard this item. I am trying to get an electric iron from G.E. direct as the kind you want are still not readily available. If I don’t forget to do so, as I did last week, I shall enclose another $5 Birthday present. In England I suppose you will, if you have time, try to visit the Seamews Nest and also look up the Ward-Campbells. In both instances give them my best.

Tomorrow I’ll post the rest of this letter.  More letters from Grandpa fill out the week.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys (2) – Reading Don Quixote From Dan – January 3, 1943

Daniel Beck Guion - (Dan)

Page 2,     1/3/43

Dear Dan:

I am enjoying reading Don Quixote. I had always planned to do so but for some reason or other never got around to it. To have so nice an addition as a Christmas gift from my literary son is appreciated more than you may imagine.

And speaking of Christmas gifts, I have just received a letter from Ced, enclosing a $50 money order. He says: “It is almost impossible to get anything up here of a native variety, and so I have decided, as have many others, that money was best. For yourself you are to buy a G. E. Electric blanket – – the balance of the money to be used at your discretion, being sure to take care of all the immediate family, Aunt Betty and Elsie and Grandma. I am still out of the Army and still “in the air as to developments”. We have moved, Rusty moving in with a friend, Dick and I taking a lousy apartment which we hope to leave as soon as possible! So, won’t you and Lad both let me know what I can buy here and send you as coming from Ced in the way of a post-Christmas gift.

A letter from Don Whitney asks about each of you boys individually and asks that you write him at 1904 Franklin St., Olympia, Wash., where he is living with his wife. He tells how on July 6 his vacation was interrupted by orders to go to Armored Force Officer Candidate School, Fort Knox, Ky, from which on Oct. 3rd, he was assigned as 2nd Lt. to the  743d Tank Bn., Fort Lewis, Wash., where, as an assistant personnel officer, “the red tape flows freely around me”. He says: “This is my first experience with this section of the country and I am enjoying it very much, in spite of the fact that we are in the midst of the rainy season during which it is a rare day when the heavens do not pour forth moisture in abundance, not to say superfluity. We are practically on the shores of Puget Sound which means that it snows, but seldom, and never stays on the ground. 1907 was the last year there was any natural ice for skating here. Yet you can travel 50 miles inland (if you have a C card) and find a climate approximately that of northern Maine. When the weather is clear, as it is once in a while, we can see Mount Rainier. It appears to be about 5 miles away but is really 80.”

I thought of you yesterday, Dan, old scout, and the energy with which you tackled job after job around the house here when you were home, and spurred on by your example, I thoroughly cleaned the kitchen linoleum. It looked so good after finishing it that I applied a coat of varnish to keep it clean and shiny and then, when they had all gone to bed last night, I gave it a second coat, for good measure. In between times I cleaned the cellar so that it looked as if some fairly respectable people were in residence, so to that extent at least, I started the new year right. Dave took down the Christmas tree (what Butch left of it) so we are now restored to what Pres. Wilson would have termed a state of normalcy.

We are now looking forward to a visit home soon again from you, Lad having up and left for sunnier climes. I hope you spend New Year’s feeling better physically than the week before and that next visit home will find you better able to enjoy yourself.

DAD

Tomorrow, page 3 of this letter which Grandpa addressed to Ced. On Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his sons away from home.

Judy Guion

Trumbull (2) – News From Ced and Dave and Easter Greetings – March 31, 1946

Page 3    3/31/46

The pictures you sent some time ago were lost in transit between Okinawa and Manila so they were even more welcome than they would be ordinarily – – if that’s possible.

Ced sounds bitter in his letter which he winds up by saying if things keep going this way he’ll go to Sweden. Shame on you, Ced! Shame on me, to – – because if you go, stop by for me to. I’m slowly becoming more dissatisfied with the world in general and the U.S. in particular. I got a kick out of comparing the C-46 I was in (Army style) and Ced’s description of the civilian model of the Army’s C-47 – – bucket seats with space for parachute is a far cry from Ced’s “push-button stewardess”. Oh, for the life of a civilian! Now at last though I can console myself by saying, “it won’t be too long now.” The picture has changed slightly (naturally – – this being the Army). A message came through the other day slowing down discharge for me in my category slightly. It looks like it may be a month now before I start rolling and pitching my way toward the Golden Gate. See you soon. Dave.”

Yes, Dave, your power of attorney would have been good but the way we handled it was far simpler and quicker, as I would have had to get a photostat made and then looked up a notary and have him certify that it was a correct copy and that I was the person mentioned, etc.

And if you two fellows are bound for Sweden you may as well take me along as a chaperone not that I’m fed up with the U.S. yet but I do like to crab about some of the new deal heritage that is still largely responsible for the labor troubles and some of these other cranky bureaus we have trying to run things in Washington and succeeding only in making a bunch of it and making democracy look foolish to the rest of the world. I don’t believe it’s right to run away but rather for you young whippersnappers to see that the right kind of people are sent down to Washington. Of course I know that with all of us are bark is worse than our bite, but at that, there is a lot of room for improvement.

Dear Dan:

While we didn’t have the pleasure of a letter from you this week you may be interested to know that jointly with your Dad you have sent Easter cards to the S_____s Nest and to our friends in Drancy, and also a card on my own to rue de Temple (Paulette’s family). I sent an Easter card to Chiche some time ago. I am reminded of you because this afternoon Dick has been playing a bunch of old records on the phonograph (last week, we had last were able to get parts to fix up the phonograph in the alcove) in the closet reproduced on the radio loudspeaker. Dick has been laid up most of the week with an attack of trench mouth. He evidently picked up the germ when he went down to New York and Dr. Laszlo is treating him with penicillin, which by the way, is a very expensive remedy in the U.S. however, it seems to be effective as he is much better today. Lad and Marian have been spending most of the afternoon fixing  their room up, painting furniture, etc., for the “blessed event” as it draws nearer. My two oldest boys and their wives are simultaneously going through about the same experiences even though they are an ocean apart. We have been having some very pleasant spring weather here lately. The furnace is finally burned its last ounce of coal and while today the house has been a bit chilly, it is not unbearable. If there is anything I can do from this and to assist in getting the Dan Guion’s back to this country, write me explicitly what you want me to do and I will start my act. If it’s not too late when you get this, don’t forget to look up Sylvia and Doug Ward-Campbell. Their mail address is Bank of Montréal, 9 Waterloo Place, London, S.W.1.

Happy Easter to you boys, each of you, wherever you may be.

DAD

 

Trumbull – Dear Dave: (1) – Letters to Dave, Dan and Paulette – March 10, 1946

Trumbull, Conn., March 10, 1946

Dear Dave:

Thank you very much for the letter and particularly the promising news it contains, which you wrote from Manila, 25th, 1946, as follows: “it’s been so long since I’ve written you I’ve forgotten what I said last time. Not much is happening here anyway. I’m still working and waiting for the day when they decide I shall go home. The mail situation is deplorable. A couple of days ago I got yours of Feb. 2nd, in which you enclosed the legal form, but I don’t know the story behind it because I’m missing mail from a number of Sundays prior to the 2nd. You can expect me by May 15th, but don’t drop dead if I should walk in on you before that. This isn’t much of a letter but I’m trying to write and listen to Margaret O’Brien on the radio at the same time. See you before too long. Dave

Well, that’s one point in the score for Margaret. Even if she did win out this time the situation will be different after the aforesaid May 15th. I’m even beginning to wonder now where we are going to bunk you when you do arrive along with your Philipino tan. You may have your choice of the bathtub or the coal bin in the cellar which is just about empty. And then of course there is the clubroom in the barn, or rather what is left of it. A glance inside the other day showed evidence they have been breaking up the furniture for fuel. However, don’t delay your homecoming on this account. As to the mail situation the radio this morning announced that Gen. MacArthur had given orders to speed up mail delivery so maybe you boys will have one less gripe on this score. But before we cast off and sail for other ports here is one business news item which may interest you. Lad has brought to consummation one of your long dreamed of ideas and that is converting the mimeograph into an automatic operated unit. He rigged up a little motor and part of an old signature attachment in such a way that you can switch on the juice on a rheostat speed regulator and the old mimeograph, now automatically fed will automatically operate, automatically failing to print when the feeder forgets to push through a sheet, so now theoretically, you can put on a stencil, load up with a hundred blank sheets, turn on the current, let her percolate and go off and listen to Margaret O’Brien on the radio if you dare. Aside from that I’m feeling pretty peppy over the news that you still are hopeful of a comparatively early return and that now leaves only Dan & Co. with a big question mark after the words “embarkation date”. No further word from him this week but each day that goes by brings inexorably nearer that indefinite but nevertheless certain date when France will conquer America through the Trumbull invasion point.

Dear Dan:

Anent invasions we are completely conquered this week by an old friend of yours, Leonard Hopkins and his charming wife. Ced had written some weeks ago that they were starting for the east and would probably stop in for a visit. We have been looking forward to seeing them and sure enough this week they phoned from New York and yesterday Lad met them at the railroad station. They are tops, both of them. She is much like your mother in being interested enthusiastically in almost everything and he, aside from his friendly, interesting personality, strikes me as a very able, farsighted and discriminating businessman.

Dear Paulette:

Jean is still searching the stores for some attractive flowered cotton material from which you can make a pretty summer dress but they do not yet seem to have received their spring and summer stock yet from the manufacturers in the department stores. However she will keep trying and as her judgment in clothes is exceptionally good you can be sure when she does find something it will be well worth waiting for.

Tomorrow, the second half of this letter – addressed to Ced. The rest of the week will be filled with two more of Grandpa’s letters to his “poor dogs” and Easter greetings.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters to Dave, Dan, Paulette and Ced (1) – March 10, 1946

Trumbull, Conn., March 10, 1946

Dear Dave:

Thank you very much for the letter and particularly the promising news it contains, which you wrote from Manila, 25th, 1946, as follows: “it’s been so long since I’ve written you I’ve forgotten what I said last time. Not much is happening here anyway. I’m still working and waiting for the day when they decide I shall go home. The mail situation is deplorable. A couple of days ago I got yours of Feb. 2nd, in which you enclosed the legal form, but I don’t know the story behind it because I’m missing mail from a number of Sundays prior to the 2nd. You can expect me by May 15th, but don’t drop dead if I should walk in on you before that. This isn’t much of a letter but I’m trying to write and listen to Margaret O’Brien on the radio at the same time. See you before too long. Dave

Well, that’s one point in the score for Margaret. Even if she did win out this time the situation will be different after the aforesaid May 15th. I’m even beginning to wonder now where we are going to bunk you when you do arrive along with your Philipino tan. You may have your choice of the bathtub or the coal bin in the cellar which is just about empty. And then of course there is the clubroom in the barn, or rather what is left of it. A glance inside the other day showed evidence they have been breaking up the furniture for fuel. However, don’t delay your homecoming on this account. As to the mail situation the radio this morning announced that Gen. MacArthur had given orders to speed up mail delivery so maybe you boys will have one less gripe on this score. But before we cast off and sail for other ports here is one business news item which may interest you. Lad has brought to consummation one of your long dreamed of ideas and that is converting the mimeograph into an automatic operated unit. He rigged up a little motor and part of an old signature attachment in such a way that you can switch on the juice on a rheostat speed regulator and the old mimeograph, now automatically fed will automatically operate, automatically failing to print when the feeder forgets to push through a sheet, so now theoretically, you can put on a stencil, load up with a hundred blank sheets, turn on the current, let her percolate and go off and listen to Margaret O’Brien on the radio if you dare. Aside from that I’m feeling pretty peppy over the news that you still are hopeful of a comparatively early return and that now leaves only Dan & Co. with a big question mark after the words “embarkation date”. No further word from him this week but each day that goes by brings inexorably nearer that indefinite but nevertheless certain date when France will conquer America through the Trumbull invasion point.

Dear Dan:

Anent invasions we are completely conquered this week by an old friend of yours, Leonard Hopkins and his charming wife. Ced had written some weeks ago that they were starting for the east and would probably stop in for a visit. We have been looking forward to seeing them and sure enough this week they phoned from New York and yesterday Lad met them at the railroad station. They are tops, both of them. She is much like your mother in being interested enthusiastically in almost everything and he, aside from his friendly, interesting personality, strikes me as a very able, farsighted and discriminating businessman.

Dear Paulette:

Jean is still searching the stores for some attractive flowered cotton material from which you can make a pretty summer dress but they do not yet seem to have received their spring and summer stock yet from the manufacturers in the department stores. However she will keep trying and as her judgment in clothes is exceptionally good you can be sure when she does find something it will be well worth waiting for.

Tomorrow, the second half of this letter – addressed to Ced. The rest of the week will be filled with another of Grandpa’s letters to his “poor dogs”.

Judy Guion